(NaturalNews) Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are specific, detailed reports that track the environmental footprint of a product. They provide a standardized way of assessing a product's life cycle to track its complete impact on the environment, from cradle to grave (or resource extraction to disposal, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions, ozone depletion or water pollution).
Product category rules (PCRs) are a necessary precursor to an EPD. They are a set of rules, guidelines and requirements for a particular category of products, established by programs such as International EPD(r)system, which define a consistent, measurable set of rules necessary when comparing the environmental performance of one product to another.
A PCR has been initiated through the International EPD(r)system's Environmental Declarations website for raw milk. The category in this case includes related products, cheese and yogurt.
By defining rules for raw milk, the environmental impact of milk production between producer A and producer B can be accurately compared over its full life cycle according to ISO 14025.
"The creation of a specific PCR is aimed at defining common rules for analyzing the milk production chain at farm level," states Fabrizio Boeri, moderator of the raw milk PCR process. "The PCR will represent the starting point for the definition of the PCR and EPD related to milk-based products such as yogurt, cheese and pasteurized liquid milk-in this last case the PCR is already available but will be updated in 2013."
Defining the product category rules is the first step towards establishing an EPD for raw milk. The procedure starts with an open Internet-based consultation phase via the International EPDsystem's web forum, (http://www.environdec.com/en/Product-Category-Rules/Forum), which everyone is invited to take part in by asking questions about the PCR and offering their comments. This stage runs from September 17 to October 31, 2012.
After the consultation process, the Technical Committee takes over-a group consisting of people from companies, research organizations and official organizations knowledgeable in the whole world of EPDs and PCRs. They then decide whether further clarifications and amendments need to be made. The whole process is expected to be finished by November 19, 2012.
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